Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Great Regulars: Her last refrain-line, "The lily, the rose,

the rose I lay", seems to be saying "I lay down as a lily (a maiden) and sex turned me into a rose". The rose suggests the blood of de-flowering, and also a flowering of passion. Its repetition seems a glad affirmation, as is the identification of the rose with gold, the most precious metal ("The silver is white, red is the gold"). The bride may also, of course, be eyeing her dowry and its happy marriage to the bailiff's wealth.

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: The Bridal Morn


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